Twists and Turns Too

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What really matters in this world; my own world? I guess that question has been on my mind this week. Heavy with the news I will be laid off at the end of April, I turned my head upon the sky a few nights back.  My gaze fell upon all those stars which on that particular night where illuminating the sky beyond the norm I have come to expect in this big city life.  Speaking of my city, we are at a sort of odds lately. I chose to walk the Brooklyn Bridge recently (something I used to do often) in hopes of soaking up some of the magic it seems I have lost. Blending in among the tourists, I slowed my stroll and let go of the urgency. Breathing in a slow waltz, I took in the view; breathtaking as always.

 

The stars were radiant that night and I rested my eyes.  I wonder if you still see them or feel them as I do. Intertwined and intermixed ages ago, severely separated in current days.

My current job is surely my favorite of all I’ve held. I don’t believe I started really living or understanding until I felt comfortable being me.  I met my best friends and I finally discovered my true self. They taught me everything. I am eternally grateful. I learned so very much and I don’t want to let go.  Sometimes though, it is just time to say goodbye. I could mourn another loss or let my newest endeavors guide me. I finally feel significance in my path. So I may feel a little lost without these things that have become my norm but the future, as it always has, will keep my soul alive.

 

 

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Solstice

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So the seasons shifted, there was another gorgeous full moon and my birthday happened; one right after the other. These events combined left me feeling quite powerful and I believe the energy flowing throughout me is more present than ever.

 

As I age further, I never know what exactly to do in celebration of completing another year of life in this crazy world. What I’ve found is that all that really matters is appreciating what you have. I embrace all the little things that make me smile and take comfort in knowing that I am living to my fullest.

I decided to give myself a full week devoted to myself and of course, with the help of all the wonderful people in my life, had a blast. Live folk music, dancing, yoga, running, lots of wine, beach time and an absolute perfect park picnic by the water overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

 

 

Another year of learning. Another year of living.

 

Another year of me.

Grateful for all that is. Hopeful for what lies ahead.

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The Perks

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In case I haven’t said this enough, I’m surrounded by great people. Recent interactions with certain “friends” made me realize this even more so.

I’m at a time of exploration in my life. In order to continually grow, I expose myself to as many new things as possible. Perhaps lately some of these choices have been on the risky side. But, as always I treat things with an open mind and I am always safe about it.

There seems to be those times in life. When you feel resistance from the people who have known you the longest. They say they are just watching out for you, they have your “best interest” in mind. But I don’t buy that. If you care about someone, it shouldn’t be a conditional thing. While I expect and appreciate some concerns to be expressed, I will not stand for the judgement.

We have to let each other expand our horizons. We all have different lives full of so many different battles. I’m happy with me but I’m still struggling to find my place. If you don’t understand that enough to stick by me through my explorations, than you weren’t really a part of me in the first place.

I will never slow down or stop doing anything I want to be doing. I am going to try it all. This is my only chance to experience all this world has to offer and I intend on doing so.

Riding the Waves

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I wish there were a way for me to fully capture this moment in which I am currently existing, at least so I could share the feeling with someone; anyone really. Jazz in the background, candles lit, safely snuggled under my heated blanket while I lounge here to document this next stage of me.

Rewind back to last year this time and I was living in a beautiful world called Columbus, Ohio. My job was high-stress, friends were scarce, resources limited and I needed something big to happen. For me. I was longing for a new outlet. I made the decision back then that I would someday run a half-marathon. Running was still somewhat new to me at that point but undoubtedly something I had grown to love. I pushed myself so very hard for the next 6 months, although not quite as intensely as I had hoped for. So instead, this last May, I ran my first 5k. One of the most rewarding moments of my life.

Fast forward to now. My wonderful friend Johanelli and I have decided to really start training for a Half Marathon next May. Now that I have an actual partner in crime to share this amazing and excruciatingly difficult journey, I feel more motivated than I ever have. I know all too well how painful this process is sure to be but at the same time the end results are guaranteed to be powerful beyond measure.

On top of marathon training, I will also be moving apartments in two short weeks. Words cannot describe how thankful I am to be moving on from this unfortunately poisonous living situation. Not to mention this new place will be a definite step up in my world and I can’t wait to start over again. It seems I do that often.

I could be the heated blanket, the Jazz, the endorphins or the fact that the moon is finally in my sign. All I know is that I’m on top again. Queen of my ever-changing wonderful world.

Underneath and In Between

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Striving to be a better me with each passing day. You can bet as many times as I fall down, I will always get back up, stand taller and work even harder.

I’ve been doing an alright job in the fitness department and just trying to relax beyond that. Convinced that I shouldn’t have to feel so homesick this often, I just planned another trip back home for September. When all is said and done the point of life is to enjoy it. Money means nothing to me without being able to spend time laughing with my loved ones. As I continue to get the hang of balancing my love of this city with the distance I’ve put between the people who mean the most to me, I am slowing learning how to make sense of all these emotions. I plan to stay on my own for now but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan more trips back home.
Everything is going to be just fine.

Odd Soul

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This last week was life-changing, filled with so many moments that saved me. Literally.

I had been on a hiatus from the gym. I’m not entirely sure why but I was feeling too low to push myself that hard. Honestly I know the gym would have made me feel better but for some reason I just couldn’t do it. So it is what it is. I finally returned and did okay. It will take a few days to get back into the swing of it. But I met this older gentleman running next to me. He really lifted my spirits. We discussed music and travel. He told me that he had spent time in Arizona and even New York but in the end, he really loves Ohio. It was just great to have a conversation with a complete stranger. I find that people who don’t know you tend to actually listen to what you have to say.

My friend Ellen sent me a care package with some things for around my house. That was probably the sweetest thing anyone has done for me in a very long time. It was just so nice and really made me feel special. I haven’t felt that nearly enough lately. My heart has been aching with loneliness, so much it is painful. I do everything I can to make it stop but ultimately I wish I was closer to those that calm me. I have some people who are a part of my life here, but only in very small doses. So I guess I’m still learning how to remedy my self-induced sadness at times.

Earlier in the week, I had to take a different route to work than usual. My bus passed the Newport Music Hall and I noticed an advertisement for MuteMath. I knew that was a sign. They are one of my favorites and I was dying to see them live. So last night I attended the show solo. I honestly love going to shows by myself. It’s so empowering. It was by far the greatest display of live music I have ever witnessed in my life, matched only by the time I saw Radiohead at Cochella years ago. My entire body and soul are still on a complete high from that experience. Those guys are insanely talented. There is a certain magic about a band that truly appreciates what they do and adore their fans. I have a high respect for that.

In this upcoming week I hope to get myself registered for the half marathon in May, further my process with school registration and laugh more. Life is what you make it and I know I’m in control.

Looking Both Ways

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“Happiness depends on ourselves.”
[Aristotle]

I recently took a week-long trip back home to Sunny Arizona. This was my third visit since my move to New York over a year and a half ago. I could feel differences during this visit for a plethora of reasons. In a way, the visit felt overshadowed by the fact that my sister is moving back. It seemed that was all everyone could talk about. Then I began to approach it with more of an understanding and as I previously stated I only want what is best for Tiffany and do support her decision. If this is what she needs to find herself again, I am all for it.

I found it more difficult to plan time with my friends this time around. Could it be possible that the longer I spend away from my home town, the less important I become to those I was once the closest with? I know everyone is busy with their everyday lives but it would have been nice to see more of my close friends. I certainly felt bummed about it. It is always a challenge to plan a trip back home as I feel I have so many things to fit into such a short while. I am striving to fly back home more often although there are so many other new places I wish to discover.

No doubt that there were plenty of wonderful moments during the week. My entire family gathered together for a late Christmas celebration of sorts. Being around them always reminds me of how lucky I am to be supported in my decisions, no matter what they may be. I was on a definite high as I sat around my Aunt and Uncles fire pit on a windy but mild Phoenix night. My love for my family is endless. No matter where I end up I am comforted by the fact that they will be there through my successes and to lean on in my times of need. I did spend some time with some lovely friends as well. It was amazing to see them again.

While in Phoenix, we stayed with my father. I have never had what I would call a close relationship with him. But in the last year we converse often. I like my Dad a lot more as an adult and we have become quite close. He is the one who offered my sis a place to stay and a vehicle to use if she wanted to move back. He only wants what is best for us. He made sure to let me know that if I ever feel like I can’t survive here anymore that I can always go back home. I made me feel so secure to hear that and I am eternally grateful. But despite that offer, I know that I am not ready to return to Arizona. Especially not now and possibly not even in the future. Once I picked up my life and moved to the east coast I unleashed a completely different women in me. I crave more adventure and constantly desire and feed off of new surroundings and experiences. Every visit is such a reminder of my new independence. I appreciate where I came from and respect every life lesson that I learned while in AZ but it also represents nothing but the past. Certain streets, buildings, locations and landmarks even have the ability to make me sick to my stomach at times.

This leads me to the here and now and certain changes that are about to happen in my life. I decided a while ago that I would settle down in Columbus for the duration of my schooling. I have begun the beginning stages of figuring out all the details. I’ve said I was going back to school many times in the past but this time is different. I applied for financial aid and found out that I will most likely receive a Pell Grant. This last year of barely making money and struggling has finally paid off!! I am beyond ecstatic! So next week I plan to meet with a guidance counselor to figure out my next steps. The great thing is that the same nursing school I plan on attending here is one that I was interested in Phoenix years ago, so I’m already somewhat familiar with the process. School begins in July so I have much to get situated before then.

Everyday life has been a struggle without a car during this winter season. I am currently on the search for a vehicle and looking forward to simplifying my commute from work to the gym and home again.

I am still marathon training, although I can’t say that I am the least bit proud of any of my current workouts. I am working at getting myself back on track in this new week. Running has been much more painful on my body lately and my excruciating leg cramps have seemed to return during the nights. Sneaky bastards. It’s unbelievable how difficult it can be to recover from a week-long vacation with little exercise. Regardless of obstacles, I am still at the gym six days out of the week giving it my all. I have a little over 4 months to get myself conditioned enough to run those 13 miles that I’ve been dreaming of for months now…

So I’m going strong on this path of self-improvement and each day continues to teach me some new lesson or bring out more strength from within. You know that saying out there, about everything happening for a reason? Well I believe it and, in fact, I am living it. I would’ve never guessed I would end up living in Ohio at thirty, finally getting my shit together to build a future for myself. But here I am. Now that I am here and finally understand how to regain complete power over my life, I am in full speed. All I need is to believe in my dreams and nothing can ever get in my way.

My Christmas Wishes

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I wish for no more pain and only happiness. Love and companionship and never a moment of loneliness. Clarity, an open mind, peace and comfort. Infinite hope and the ability to believe in the worst of times. Abundant amounts of strength and everlasting passion. I wish to have every last dream come true. I know that things happen only when they are meant to and that I must hold on until it is my time. I can only hope that I can resist the emptiness that sometimes wants to take me over. I will continue to be a bright shining light in my own life and do everything within my power to keep myself content. My heart will stay safe. I’ll make sure of it.

Happy Holidays to you all. I hope you have family, friends, new memories to last you a lifetime and most importantly
Love.

~J

Learning To Fly

Calvin and I were driving back into town last night in his truck with no radio. This song came up on my phone and we sang along as we drove through the mostly pitch black countryside. It’s always been one of my favorites and feels so good to sing out loud, especially while feeling so much happiness. Calvin is such a great friend. Don’t know what I would do without him these days.

My Blessings

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Family.
Mine is just the greatest. I miss them so very much, especially during the holidays. It can be difficult living separated by so many miles, but I can always feel their love just as strongly.
Friends.
The new ones I’ve made, those I’ve left behind, those who have left me behind and the special individuals who never let me down. I feel so supported by those in my life. I have met the most amazing people and I would not be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for everyone who has touched my life in some way. Near or far, you are all in my heart.
Travel.
I was born to travel and I know that with every bit of my soul. New places activate the liveliness inside of me that tends to go stale. I love to explore and learn my way around new places. This last year has been only just the beginning of what is to come and has definitely sparked something in me that will not soon go away. After residing in Arizona for most of my life, New York for a year and now starting over in Columbus, I feel I’ve really had exposure to many different ways of life. There are still many places i wish to live until I’m ready to settle down one day; perhaps I never will. I cannot wait to experience other countries. There is nothing I desire more.
Running.
This new hobby has truly changed my overall demeanor for the better. It keeps me feeling alive, helps relieve stress, keeps me healthy and provides a challenge that I know I am capable of. I am excited to continue to reach more milestones in this new quest in my life.
Creative Outlets.
Cooking is so therapeutic for me and it always cures any sort of sadness inside of me. I love inventing things in the kitchen. Even more so when people really enjoy what I’ve cooked. It’s very rewarding.
Photography lets me show everyone the way I view the world. There is always a moment to capture or beauty to portray. Pictures make me happy and are a great way to document life.
Love.
“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”